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I helped create #bigresults with my #bigrigs for Special Olympics

On September 24th, Special Olympics Nova Scotia celebrated their 5th anniversary of hosting the World’s Largest Truck Convoy – Big Rigs, Big Hearts, Big Results, presented by Irving Oil. In just five years this event has raised almost $300,000 ($114,000 this year alone) to help support athletes with an intellectual disability both on and off the field of play. It has helped to create new programs, fund athletes to attend Provincial and National competitions, offer training to coaches and volunteers, create social change and just as significantly bring awareness to the organization and show our community the “ability” not “disability” of the population we support.

Each year the convoy invites a grand marshal to the event. Someone who represents the industry with pride, yet someone who has a #bigheart for their community and gives back. This year that person was Darrell Ward from Ice Road Truckers. Discussions began in early March and within a few days, Darrell was excited to travel to Nova Scotia to meet the athletes and his fans. Darrell had been the grand marshal for a similar event in Tinley Park, Illinois and had developed a strong passion for the athletes of Special Olympics.

On Monday, August 28th tragic news began to unfold. Darrell had lost his life in a plane crash along with his pilot. The news was devastating. Everyone in Nova Scotia was truly looking forward to meeting Darrell in just under four weeks. “What will you do now for a grand marshal? Will you still host the event?” Good question, what would Special Olympics Nova Scotia do? Of course the event would still go on – but how? How do we turn a tragedy into something positive? You see, Darrell was more than just a “convoy marshal” he had become a friend. His team had become like family.

On Tuesday, long-time friend and Manager of Darrell Ward, Bob Stanton, called to tell us that #TeamDarrell was not going to let our athletes down. It was very important to Darrell to do what he could for our athletes and to meet his fans in Eastern Canada. Within a week the “Darrell Ward Tribute Tour” was set in motion. Diesel Spec was on board to help offset costs; Chrome and Steele Radio were working behind the scenes to get the word out about the Tribute Tour; Marc Springer (Snortn’ Boar Trucking) from Shipping Wars had just spent the previous weekend with Darrell and heard his passion, and Todd and Tamera Sturgis from Trucking is Glamourous (also with Darrell and Marc the previous weekend) were travelling down because Darrell was a true friend and showcasing the positive in the trucking industry is what they do. The pieces were all in place. Then an unexpected gift – his son Reno Ward would be joining the team to honor his dad. Reno had appeared in three episodes of Ice Road Truckers, but since then had retreated to college live and football. In his first real public appearance with fans and events, Reno knocked it out of the park and made his dad proud.

The Darrell Ward Tribute Tour was a success! A large banner featuring Darrell’s photo led the event, while drivers all jumped on board by sporting a memorial decal on their bumper, and the first annual Darrell Ward Giving Back Award to Mr, Bill Dowe from Amherst Nova Scotia. We all felt his presence in a very “special” way. We posted picture after picture on our Facebook group throughout the four days of our tour and at the oddest time, one would appear upside down. This began the day before the tour started and continued until convoy day.

With 200 trucks registered for the World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics in Nova Scotia we can now boast that we are the second largest event in Canada! Quite an accomplishment for just five years. This year alone we raised in excess of $110,000 for our athletes thank to the sponsors, drivers and fans.

Honourable mentions go to our top fundraiser Lennie Wilson from TDR Transport who lead the convoy for the second year raising $4600 as well as James Downey from Atlantic Road Construction and Paving who raised an amazing $4440. As well as our top fundraising Team – Bluewater Agencies, drivers Dwight Latter and Robert Laybolt and East Coast International who raised an additional $6,700 during their two open house events.

It is though the donations from our drivers and our sponsors that we are able to create #bigresults. Thank you to Irving Oil, East Coast International, Diesel Spec, Clearwater Seafoods, Work Authority, Hull Transport, Nova Truck Centres, Bayview Trucks and Equipment, MacLeod Lorway Insurance, Auto and Trucking Atlantic, Fisher Transport (who also raised an additional $3000.00), Leading Edge Excavation and Trucking, Nova Scotia Trucking Safety Association, Wolseley Canada, and all the supporting donors who helped make the day a success including our Law Enforcement Partners whose support makes this all possible. Agencies that attended included: : Amherst, Bridgewater, Cape Breton, Halifax Regional, Stellarton, Kentville, Nova Scotia Vehicle Compliance, RCMP, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Military police. What a tremendous show of support! Thank you everyone.

Jump on over to our FB page to see photos from the day!


Darrell Ward Memorial Tour to Benefit Special Olympics Truck Convoy

NEWS RELEASE – Immediate Release

September 7, 2016

Special Olympics honors the life of History Channel’s Ice Road Trucker and 2016 Convoy Marshal Darrell Ward with memorial Tribute Tour leading up to September 24th World’s Largest Truck Convoy presented by Irving Oil. Special guests slated to join in his memory.

Halifax (NS) – Special Olympics Nova Scotia is proud to celebrate five years of hosting this unique event that travels through the streets of Dartmouth. The convoy starts to roll at 10:15 AM on Saturday, September 24, from DND Shearwater. In a parade of almost 200 big rigs through Dartmouth, N.S. and raises funds for more than 1,700 athletes. Special Olympics Nova Scotia offers sports programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

“Let’s Get it Done”, Darrell Ward, Ice Road Truckers

Darrell Ward was slated to be in the Maritimes beginning on Wednesday, September 21st to help raise money for Special Olympics Truck Convoy on September 24th . Tragically he died on Sunday, August 28th in a plane crash.

“Travelling to Nova Scotia and being the Convoy Marshall for the 2016 Convoy for Special Olympics Nova Scotia was an important cause for Darrell. The day prior to his accident he and our team had a conversation about how excited he was to travel to Eastern Canada for his first time to meet his fans and the athletes. We knew that Darrell would want us to follow through on his commitment to his fans and this event. When we talked to our team, we weren’t surprised that everyone was on-board to make this tribute a success in his memory. Special thanks goes to Diesel Spec for their helping us bring this all together”, says Bob Stanton, Darrell Ward’s manager. TEAM Darrell Ward have many great things planned including a memorial banner, the Darrell Ward Giving Back Award and they have set up a pledge page for fans to donate to http://bit.ly/2c1D5At

The Darrell Ward Tribute Tour will feature his son Reno Ward Reno
(who was featured with Darrell in season 8), Shipping Wars Cast Marc Springer, Todd & Tamera Sturgis, Chrome and Steele Radio owner Bruce Lacasse, and Darrell’s manager Bob Stanton. Special guests from Diesel Spec will make an appearance at the convoy.

 

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Darrell Ward’s television career skyrocketed when he filmed a truck driving stunt on Montana’s Beartooth Pass in 2010. Since then, he has become a star and fan favorite of the History Channel’s TV show, Ice Road Truckers. With 35 years’ experience of extreme driving conditions, Darrell is a fearless and tireless driver who can conquer any load on any road. Holding the World’s Record for driving the longest ice road is just one of his many accomplishments. Darrell also regularly works alongside the United States Forestry Department in quenching forest fires, and routinely works in North Dakota performing environmental cleanups.

Darrell Ward Tribute Tour Schedule

Wednesday Sept 21st Moncton NB East Coast International  Trucks Open House 100 Urquhart Avenue from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. (general public is invited)
Thursday, Sept 22nd – Enfield NS Irving Big Stop 10:00 am -2:00 pm (Professional Drivers only)
Friday, Sept 23rd East Coast International Dartmouth NS 1 Morris Drive 11:00 am 1:00 pm (general public is invited)
Saturday, September 24th – World’s Largest Truck Convoy – Dartmouth NS (Registered participants only)

Participants can register for the convoy now by contacting Anne Marie Shannon at 1-866-299-2019 / (902) 429-2266 x 2 or emailing amshannon@sportnovascotia.ca or visiting our website at www.truckconvoyns.ca

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ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS IN NOVA SCOTIA
Established in 1979, the Nova Scotia chapter of this international movement is
dedicated to enriching the lives of Nova Scotian’s with an intellectual disability through
sport. The Special Olympics movement believes in supporting athletes both on and off the playing field. We are strong advocates for social change, healthy minds and bodies with a focus on building stronger communities using sport as a catalyst. Operating year-round in 15 Regions, this grassroots movement reaches beyond the sphere of sport with a united movement of over 150 weekly programs and 300 coaches. From two-year olds enrolled in Active Start to mature adults, there are more than 1700 children, youth, and adults with an intellectual disability registered in Special Olympics programs across Nova Scotia. For more information, visit www.specialolympicsns.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@SpecialONS).

Media Contacts:
Anne Marie Shannon
Director, Events and Communications
Special Olympics Nova Scotia
902.429.2266
Bob Stanton, Manager Darrell Ward
Bob@darrellwardproductions.com
386-679-0155


FUNdraising Friday Champion Highlight

Armour Transport has been supporting the Truck Convoy since we began in 2012. Not only did they participate, one of their employees John Norris became a champion for the cause. He went above and beyond to make sure his company supported the event by backing the drivers, but also he was a strong advocate for our athletes. John always encouraged the drivers to participate at the best level they could – fundraising, participating and taking athletes in the truck with them if they were able. As you can see by the smile, it was a partnersjohn edward and athletehip our athletes certainly were proud of.

 

However, as things often do, a change was coming. John took a different role within the company, and that left a hole in our champion network. However, that would not deter John. This year he began his journey to once again find us a new company role model.
In Paula Wentzell he found just that! Paula participated in the convoy in 2014 raised a total of $806.00 to help support our athletes and had an amazing day with her trucker buddy Matt “I had such an amazing day when I participated in 2014. It was so much fun, and my athlete was a great joy to host”, says Paula.

Paula Wentzell Armour

Paula will now take the wheel to help lead Team Armour on the 5th anniversary event on September 24th in Dartmouth. While we know John’s heart will always be with us, and he continues to work from the shadows, we thank Paula for helping to raise money for her team and our athletes.

The top fundraising team has the honor of receiving a banner to display at their place of work, and the honor of following behind the lead truck and our sponsors in the convoy as well as some great incentives for the drivers.

We have big dreams for our athletes and their future. This event is helping us to make them a reality. Learn more about Special Olympics.